Garlic Kalamata Grilled Chicken Sandwich & Easy Cucumber Salad


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My grain free, dairy free, Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread was a big hit.

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Also, surprisingly versatile.

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We had it with the chicken dish I posted last week.  We had it with salad, I had some for breakfast one day with some cold chicken, and then I used the last of it to make us these grilled chicken sandwiches.

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They were SO good! All of the flavors together really made for a fabulous sandwich. Tony had sharp cheddar and Brazilian Breakfast sheep’s milk cheese on his. I had Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds on mine along with the Brazilian Breakfast. We dipped them in spicy mustard and I have to say, it was the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time.

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The bread was sliced generously, so I ended up grilling on both sides twice to get the cheese to melt. Once with the lid on for both sides, and then again with the lid off on both sides to crisp the bread.

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The combination of cheeses with the slices of garlic and olives in the bread, along with the chicken was so flavorful.

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I also made a simple cucumber salad to go alongside our sandwiches. A crisp and clean salad works very well alongside a heavy sandwich.

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A little chopped spinach, sliced cucumbers, sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, white balsamic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, and a couple grinds of pepper. Easy!

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It’s a real treat to have a grilled sandwich loaded with melting cheese when you’re gluten free or grain free, and dairy free.

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I’ve found that I can indulge in sheep or goat’s milk cheese a couple of times a month with no issues at all. The Daiya cheese is a nice treat as well. It melts like “real” cheese, although takes a bit longer, and has a pleasant flavor. However, it’s rather unpleasant in its raw form. Combined with the sheep’s cheese, it was excellent!

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If you’d like to make the Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread, you can go here for my recipe.

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Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts


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The last few months I’ve been in a rut. A dinner rut that is.

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Do you ever get stuck just rotating the same old recipes over and over again? You’d think a food blogger would be immune to such things because we always have food ideas dancing in our heads. But, we get tired and bored and uninspired just like everyone else it seems.

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Last week I finally decided enough is enough and I sat down for several hours and created 60 dinner meal plans to choose from. I have hundreds of recipes on my own blog along with piles and piles of cookbooks. I’m also slightly addicted to tearing recipes out of magazines that I can tweak in one way or another.

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Having food allergies means tweaking is a must usually, and if I’m feeling energetic, it’s fun to come up with fresh ideas to put on table. Now we have some old favorites mixed with new dishes to try over the next few weeks and I’m no longer in a boring rut.

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The photos don’t really do the dish justice, unfortunately. It comes out of the oven so gorgeous! It’s the time of year when our daylight is diminishing at an alarming rate which makes for terrible food photography. I prefer to rely on natural light, but this house is so dark, I may have to invest in some photography lighting or get creative with a light box.

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Before you decide to add this dish to your menu, I’m going to be honest with you and tell you I did not like the addition of bacon.

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I was feeling a little queasy before dinner and the first bite with the bacon was not appealing to me. Once I removed it from the middle of my chicken breast, I thoroughly enjoyed the recipe.

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My husband thought the bacon added a nice flavor. So I’ll leave it up to you. I served it with my grain free Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread which was a very tasty combination!

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Grain Free Dairy Free ~ Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced open like a book

About 2 Tablespoons Crumbled Sheep’s Milk Feta

About 1/4 Cup Grated Sheep’s Milk Parmesan + more to top breasts at end of cooking

About 2 Tablespoons of Diaya Cheddar Style Shreds

1 Cup of Fresh Baby Spinach, chopped

A Few Very Thin Slices of Red Onion

2 Slices of Cooked Bacon, chopped (see post above…I didn’t like the bacon)

1/2 Jar of Your Favorite Store Bought Marinara Sauce

Olive Oil

Drizzle a little olive oil in a small baking dish. Place the breasts in the dish and stuff with the cheeses, spinach, onion, and *bacon. Add the marinara sauce, cover with tin foil,  and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, add more grated sheep’s Parmesan on top of the breasts and continue baking until the parm is lightly melted and a beginning to color. About 10 more minutes. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and a salad if you’re not too lazy to make one like I was!

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Grain Free ~ Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread


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It isn’t surprising to me that there are 90 verses in the bible discussing bread in one way or another. Bread in the bible functions as a social bond. The giving of bread to another person is a major element of hospitality and serves as a sign of respect and concern.

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We’re told to go eat our bread with Joy. And we all know the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus is even referred to as the “bread of God who gives life to the world”. What’s my point?

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Well, not to make light of 90 verses in the bible of course, but bread is a big deal. It was important then and it’s important now for all kinds of reasons both biblical and otherwise. And it’s especially important to those of us who are gluten and grain free!

In fact, bread was one of the first things I set out to tackle when I started baking with gluten free ingredients. Gluten free was a challenge for sure, but baking grain free bread that resembles bread and tastes like “real” bread, consists of small miracles. It is not easy.

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I think I have finally created a couple of go-to grain free, dairy free bread recipes that are extremely pleasing to me. Now I can enjoy buns, crusty bread, french bread, garlic bread, french toast, toast, and cinnamon rolls just as much as the next guy. That’s important to me and from what I hear from other people, it’s important to them too.

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Bread is comfort. It’s filling, it smells fabulous, it feels amazing, it can be combined with absolutely mouth-watering delicious, ingredients.

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A few baguettes, goat cheeses, roasted garlic, and wine and you have the perfect cozy, social gathering. It’s the staple food of life. No one should ever have to go without bread.

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Many of us remember our mothers or grandmothers houses being filled with the smells of bread baking. Or walking down the street in a city on a cold day being led by our noses to a local bakery.

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Fresh rolls on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Fresh bread with a steaming bowl of soup… Bread smells like home. We need that in this hustle bustle world! Our families need to come home to a house full of comforting smells that they’ll remember for a lifetime. Smells that stir up deep, heartfelt memories long after we’re gone.

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Please don’t give up on being able to experience that. People panic when they’re told they can’t eat gluten and dairy. I hear that it’s too hard, too expensive, too irritating, it’s not fair, they don’t know how, they can’t bake…. don’t cheat yourself because you’re maybe a little bit overwhelmed or uneasy about starting something new.

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I have so many memories of people I love that are attached to food. There’s no way I’m willing to give up those traditions and the fabulous smells and reminders of my life with those people simply because of food allergies.

And you shouldn’t either.

You DO have it in you to bake, and cook, and build fabulous smelling memories. Start small and work your way up one loaf or roll or baguette at a time.

I believe in you!

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Grain Free Dairy Free ~ Garlic & Kalamata Olive Boule

2/3 Cup Arrowroot

1 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

3/4 Cup Coconut Flour

4 teaspoons Xanthan

4 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Active Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Warm Water

6 Eggs, Separated

3 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Cup Kalamata Olives, sliced lengthwise in half

1 WHOLE Head of Garlic, cloves peeled and sliced

2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon Dried Rosemary, crushed

#1.  Place a piece of parchment (enough to go up the sides) into a large bowl and set aside. Slice olives and peel and slice garlic cloves.

#2.  Measure all dry ingredients except  the yeast, sugar, and gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk. Set aside.

#3.  Separate eggs, placing whites in the a mixer bowl. Beat to stiff peak.

#4.  Measure the 1/3 cup warm water and add the yeast and sugar and stir until combined. Set aside.

#5. Measure 1/2 cup cool water (in a glass measuring cup or ramekin) and add the gelatin, stirring quickly to combine. Microwave for 40 seconds. Set aside.

#6.  Measure the apple cider vinegar and olive oil into the egg whites. Add the yeast mixture to the egg whites. Turn mixer on low and very slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into the egg white mixture.

#7. Keeping the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined (or you’ll have a dust cloud). Then, mix on medium high for 2 minutes.

#8.  Add the sliced olives, sliced garlic, oregano and rosemary, mix on medium to combine thoroughly.

#9. Scoop dough into the bowl with the parchment and lightly shape the dough into a round ball with wet hands. Do not pat down!

#10.  Place the Dutch oven (lid on- remove knob if plastic) on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. While the oven is preheating, place the dough bowl on top of the oven and loosely cover with a kitchen towel.

#11.  When oven is preheated VERY CAREFULLY remove the lid and grab the bread dough by the corners of the paper and set it into the VERY hot Dutch oven. Replace the lid. Bake for 20 minutes.

#12.  After 20 minutes, remove the lid (set somewhere safe!), turn the oven down to 450 degrees and continue baking for 15 more minutes.

Remove bread from Dutch Oven and cool on wire rack . ***Allow the Dutch Oven to cool inside the oven or somewhere safe like inside the sink.

(Notes: I checked my bread halfway into the 2nd  half of the baking and felt it was getting dark quickly so molded a piece of foil over the bread for the last half of baking time. You may have noticed my loaf has a split down the middle. That is because I sliced a cross in the dough prior to baking. I didn’t have you do that in the recipe instructions because I think it causes the loaf to fall a bit. Next time I won’t cross the top. I also did not do an egg wash because I was fearful that because the oven was so  hot, it would burn the top of the bread.)

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Apple Chicken Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Raisins


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Somehow, Monday is here again and our weekend flew right by us!  My husband was gone the latter part of the week, had to travel through Saturday, and didn’t return home until after dinner. We made the most of Sunday though. It was a gorgeous day so we headed over to Idaho to the beautiful town of Coeur d’alene. We watched the sad ending of the Seahawk’s football game and had a cocktail in the Whispers Lounge at the resort, then walked along main street and looked in some of the shops. Not many are open on Sunday which I guess may be a blessing on the pocketbook. Once we worked up an appetite and decided against the posted menus on many of the restaurants on main street, we headed back to the resort for lunch.

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 Sadly, their gluten free menu was predictable, so we both settled with the salad bar. We do love a good salad bar with a large variety and they say their salad bar is 18 feet long. I would say more like maybe 10 if they’re lucky, but what do I know. It had a decent amount of choices and a variety of gluten free dressings, but only two were non dairy. Someone had slopped blue cheese dressing into the huckleberry vinaigrette. You would think if they were mindful enough to label dressings gluten free, they would have placed all of them together rather than among the other dressings. Blue cheese dressing is not gluten free. But again, what do I know?

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I do dream of the day I can go into a restaurant that has both gluten free and dairy free choices on their menu. Exciting and innovative choices, not just meat, fish, vegetables and gluten free cake with dairy.  I was disappointed they didn’t offer a gluten free bread basket or gluten free crackers to accompany the salads. There are many gluten free options for crackers and breads now, so I couldn’t come up with a good excuse for our missing bread basket.

With more and more people being diagnosed with food related health issues, it’s hopefully only a matter of time before we’ll be seeing more variety on allergen free menus. Something as simple as this gluten and dairy free Apple & Chicken Salad would have even been a nice change of pace from the same old predictable gluten free menu fare.

About 1 out of every 100 people are diagnosed with celiac and that doesn’t count the unbelievable number of those who are gluten sensitive. Not long ago I read a USA Today article that said that 60% of adults cannot digest dairy. More than half of adults cannot digest dairy. If a chef were to even Google “gluten free and dairy free”, he’d have hundreds of simple recipes right at his fingertips along with thousands and thousands of innovative blogs who post allergen free recipes all the time. I don’t expect a large allergen free menu or to be pampered and spoiled as this resort claims to do for their guests, but I do expect that they put a little elbow grease and innovative thinking into their dishes.

Until then, there’s always home where we know we can order anything we want.

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Apple Chicken Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Raisins

Makes 2 Servings

3/4 Cup Chicken breast, cubed

1/2 of a Macoun Apple, diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Diced Red Onion

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Diced Celery

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Raisins

1 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil Mayonnaise (or dairy free plain yogurt)

2 Tablespoons of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Freshly Ground Pepper

Chopped Romaine Lettuce

Place all ingredients except the lettuce in a bowl and stir to combine. Serve on a bed of romaine.

Grain Free Spice Cakes



Did I ever tell you about the time years and years ago when our young neighbor down the street was having an affair? You’d be surprised what you’re privy to when you keep your eyes open.

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We didn’t know her at all, but when you’re an observant person…you see things other average Joes, just don’t see.  Hubby deployed or some such thing, and pretty soon a shiny new truck and a shiny new young man started coming around. Then he started staying.

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Well, my husband has a knack for coming up with nicknames for people. He crowned the shiny young man, “Porn Star”. Along with a tune of “bow chicka wow wow”, every time the shiny young man drove by. Well, Porn Star had his own business and he provided a service we needed. So my husband thought, “What the heck, I’ll throw this guy some business.” Now, I had never seen this guy close up so I had no idea it was actually Porn Star that came to our house to give us an estimate.

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While we were talking over plans he made a few comments about the young wife down the street and the neighborhood, but was so vague, I thought he was just a friend of the couple or an employee of Porn Star.

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Well, as you can probably guess, I was very curious about how the husband disappeared and the shiny new young man just showed up. It was a mystery we needed solved! So I said a couple of things in a round about way like, “Yeah, we noticed the husband deployed and now some other dude is hanging around. So how’s that panning out with the husband?”


Oh yes I did.


He was silent. Or maybe he mumbled a couple of things, I’ve tried to forget. But I do remember the look my husband gave me. That slight look of horror mixed with a large dose of humorous smirk…because I had stuck my foot in my mouth and he probably couldn’t wait to see how I was going to get it out.  Once the realization hit me…. you know that hot wave you get from your toes all the way up to your head? I had one of those and immediately thought, “Oh CRAP. Well, I’m glad he already gave us our estimate.” And I didn’t say another word. In fact, I think I may have laughed. Because really, what else are you supposed to do at that point?


Our conversation ended very quickly after that and about an hour later the doorbell rang. I peeked out the kitchen window and sure enough, it was Porn Star.

Bow Chica Wow Wow!

And of course, my husband was nowhere to be found. So I opened up the door with a bright cheery smile and he handed me another estimate and said that after our conversation he realized there was “No Way” he would be able to provide the service for what he had originally offered.

He doubled it.


I laughed again, and silently (THIS time) thought, “Hmmm…well isn’t that interesting…” After a good laugh we ended up hiring another guy. “Harley Guy”, who did it for a fraction of Porn Star’s original bid. Deployed Hubby never returned. Not long after that, Porn Star and, “Variety is The Spice of Life” young lady, moved on to another more unsuspecting and less inquisitive neighborhood I guess.

Mystery solved!

Grain & Dairy Free Spice Cakes

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 Cup of Coconut Flour

3/4 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Cup of Coconut Sugar

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Soy Free Butter

4 Eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Almond Extract

1 Cup + 1/2 Cup (measured separately) Full Fat Coconut Milk

Measure the dry ingredients into a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Add the butter, eggs, almond extract, and 1 Cup of the coconut milk. Beat until fully incorporated, scraping down sides once or twice. Allow the batter to rest while you place cupcake liners into a tin (18). Add the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk and beat until fully incorporated. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.

**I made a simple powdered sugar/butter frosting…that ended up being a dance of add more of this and add more of that and then I had to toss it and make another batch. So I will let you figure the measurements for your frosting, or you can go here and use these measurements. I used powdered sugar, dairy free butter, pumpkin pie spice, and a little coconut milk in mine. I also sprinkled them with Maple Sugar Nuggets.

Chocolate Chai Macaroons


Did you know I’m a klutz?

Some synonyms would be clumsy, stumblebum, butterfingers, awkward, accident prone…

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I don’t know why and it seems to come in waves, but really, I’ve been one all my life. In fact, I remember being called “Grace” on many occasions in my childhood and I don’t think it was because I was so angelic that I “graced” everyone with my presence.

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I’m not sure if I blogged about it, but right after we moved into our house in New Hampshire I fell all the way down the flight of stairs from our bedroom and tore my right shoulder. Shoulder tears are not fun and take months to heal if they heal at all. Luckily, mine eventually did.


Then, a few months ago I was reaching over the gate that leads to our basement to set something on the stairs… Why do we have a gate? Because the cat box and cat food are in the basement and we have very “inquisitive” dogs.  As you can probably already guess something went awry.

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I guess I leaned on it just a little to much and it slipped right out of the door jam. I went with it and got my foot caught in the cat door at the bottom of the gate and fell all the way down the stairs.

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Once my husband figured out I was OK and I only came away with just a few scrapes and bruises, he said, “You need to be more careful, you’re not getting any younger you know.” Then our son arrived for a visit a while later and Tony said, “Guess what mom did!” with such excitement I actually thought, what did I do? Then I heard, “She fell down the stairs!”

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Two weeks ago I was cooking dinner and I guess I must have left a cupboard open, because next thing I knew, I turned around and smacked right into it with my forehead. I didn’t even swear. I’m so used to being a klutz, it doesn’t even elicit naughty words anymore. Just a lot of, “WHY? WHY? WHY’s!” That one left a mark that had to be covered with makeup every day.

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A week and a half ago I was walking from the dining room down to our family room and I have no idea what happened but the stairs suddenly turned into a slide. Before I knew it, I was at the bottom and I fell so violently that the plastic padded glass water bottle I had in my hand broke. Four stairs. Not even a flight of stairs.

While I was falling, I reached out to grab something to stop myself like most people do I’m assuming, and tore the same shoulder again. This time my husband, lounging on the couch fully horizontal, didn’t even bother to get up. I just heard, “Are you OK?” Um….nooooooo. Later he did bring me ice packs for my shoulder and reminded me once again, “You know you’re not getting any younger, you don’t want to break a hip or something.”

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A few days ago, I bent down to put some things into a recycling bag that was set where it doesn’t normally live in the kitchen. I had placed it there because it was almost full and needed to go out to the big bin in the garage. Sure enough, when I bent down, I smacked my forehead on the corner of the bar.

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When my husband left for work this morning I deemed today, “Pajama and Chocolate Day”. I had breakfast and then I made myself a cup of hot chocolate.

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100% Coconut milk, 2 squares of dark chocolate, about 1 teaspoon of raw honey, a couple pinches of cinnamon and a pinch of turmeric. I also added a little dollop of coconut whipped cream made with pure vanilla and coconut sugar.

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So I guess it’s no surprise that I’m sore. Very sore. I think I feel like what really old people feel like. My shoulder still hurts, it’s making my neck tight and giving me a headache, and I’m almost positive I’m going to have a permanent bruise on my forehead. That calls for lounging around in one’s PJ’s and indulging in chocolaty things.

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The cookie recipe makes 15 cookies, and as you can probably tell, there are not 15 cookies on this plate. There are 11 because I ate four, in one sitting.

Which is as it should be on a Pajama & Chocolate Day.

Yours Truly,


Chocolate Chai Macaroons 

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2 Cups of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

2/3 Cups of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

2/3 Cups of Coconut Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

1 Tablespoon of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Chai Mix (see below)

2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract

1/3 Cup of Dairy Free Chocolate Chips

Mix all ingredients well in one bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out 15 heaping Tablespoons of the cookie dough. Bake for 16 minutes.

Chai Spice Mix

This spice mix can be used for all kinds of delicious things, you’ll have extra.

1 Small Jar

3 teaspoons of Ground Turmeric

4 teaspoons of Ground Cardamom

4 teaspoons of Ground Cloves

4 teaspoons of Ground Allspice

8 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon

6 teaspoons of Ground Ginger

Measure all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Spoon into a storage jar.